Annual International Business Career Conference focuses on ‘Passport to Success’

Several business students met regularly to plan the International Business Career Conference including (facing, from left) Matthew Coker, Svetlana Kogan, Peter Wilson and Ala Al-lozi. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Several business students met regularly to plan the International Business Career Conference including (facing, from left) Matthew Coker, Svetlana Kogan, Peter Wilson and Ala Al-lozi. (Photo by August Jennewein)

More than 450 college students had the opportunity to meet and engage with business professionals during the annual International Business Career Conference at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The conference is solely organized and facilitated by students for students with assistance from Elizabeth Vining, assistant teaching professor of marketing at UMSL.

The students plan every detail of the conference from selecting the theme (“Passport to Success”) to finding speakers and sponsors.

Peter Wilson, a student majoring in business administration with an emphasis in international business, served as the marketing manager for this year’s conference.

“Throughout this experience I have obtained networking connections that wouldn’t have been available to me otherwise, fostered long-term relationships and gained a sense of fulfillment from working on a project that benefits so many students,” Wilson said.

Betsy Cohen, executive director of the St. Louis Mosaic Project, delivered the keynote address. Then six concurrent informative workshops run and a panel discussion concluded the conference. Lunch was provided, which included an international flare from area businesses, and executives from throughout the region were on hand to network and answer student questions.

Sarah Schroeder, a business major and president of the International Business Institute Honor Society, served as the project manager for the conference.

ibbclogoSchroeder said the students began planning the event in September. Speakers were contacted, discussion topics were finalized, sponsors were solicited and the word began to spread.

“This is not a job fair,” she said. “Rather, it’s potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity for some students to meet the leading executives from some of St. Louis’ top global companies. Instead of the students chasing down executives for information about landing a job in international business, we are bringing the executives to you due to the generosity of their time.”

The IBCC planners also sought to bring insight to students who will soon be working in the field and faced with various challenges.

“Traveling internationally is always a concern, and current events may steer students away from taking a leap of faith by experiencing another culture abroad,” she said. “To negate this, we have Dion Cantu from the FBI coming in to prepare students to travel the safe and appropriate way.

Cantu is just one example. Speakers also discussed the role of social media in business, landing international jobs, breaking through cultural barriers and surviving abroad.

“Everyone who attended the conference left with a wealth of knowledge,” Schroeder said. “They should feel empowered by making the conscious decision to explore all options regarding their future.”

The UMSL Experience

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